My prayer at 3:00 in the morning was a simple one.
“Oh, God, I am lost and so alone.”
Why such depths of despair?
One simple word—disappointment!
Asaph wrote, “… I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:3 NIV).
That pretty much sums up what happened to me.
I looked up my book sales, added up the 4-month total, and felt the writing wind go out of my sails. I was $4.81 short of my first royalty check. Short again. For a second quarter.
I put too much stock in a sales report and too little trust in God. I envied those who wrote trash (I turn fifty shades of red, white, and purple when I think of Fifty Shades of Gray—and a judgment I readily admit based on hearsay; not the best way to assess something I know little about).
Once again I was learning some tough lessons through my own dumb mistakes. Oh, my goodness, how many times must I go through this?
What dumb mistakes?
I looked out the wrong window.What do I mean? Think of life as a hotel room
with windows. One view offers a beautiful vista (you can insert an ocean, a lake, a mountain range, a gorgeous garden—whatever your heart and imagination desire). The other offers a view of a sooty brick wall with graffiti.
In my case, I chose the brick wall and graffiti over an ocean view and palm trees (my personal scene choice; let me know yours in the comments below).
I looked out the window alone. I had a number of options that included others. I could have spoken with my wife, Ellen. I could have dropped by a friend’s place. I could have phoned a family member.
Instead, I chose to suffer alone (and I was suffering; I typically don’t pray, “Oh, God, I am lost and so alone” with a light heart). I bought into my own personal lie. I can handle this on my own.
But I’m better now.
My recovery (and a better view) started when Ellen said, “You don’t look so good.”
That opened the door to a long walk and a deep talk.
I learned again Scripture’s truth. “Two are better than one … If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV).
Here’s what I learned (again—sigh!) and know is true.
My worth can’t be found in a sales report—scorecard, report card, or monthly bank statement. It can be found in the words of Jesus. “God feeds [the ravens]. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” (Luke 12:24)
I am not alone. I may think I am. I may live like I am. But I am not.
Talking helps. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away …” (Psalm 32:3). I prayed to God at 3:00 in the morning. I talked with Ellen in the evening. Both conversations moved me closer to regaining life’s proper perspective and helped me look out the right window.
From past experience, I know my strongest efforts alone battling a sin issue, a personal problem, or feelings of inadequacy tend to sink me further down into the problem. When I call out to God and to others, I find the power to overcome.
Sin’s grip weakens with confession. Solutions emerge through corporate wisdom. My personal value rises as I see myself through the eyes of God and others.
Okay, true confession here. I’ve listened to Sofie Kinsella’s Shopaholic audio book series. Yeah, yeah, not the deepest bit of fiction you can read (or hear).
But one truth shines through in every single story (besides the fact Becky Bloomwood has a major problem with materialism).
The more you avoid the truth the deeper you get into trouble.
I’m curious. If you’ve prayed a prayer like mine, “Oh, God, I am lost and so alone,” what helped you gain perspective?
Behind Every Great Writer by Rachelle Gardner (cartoon panels showing a writer’s life)
What I Really Do @ WeKnowMemes (humorous look at a writer’s life)
Soul Food for Friday: Quotes to Stir Up Your Thirst for Reading by Richard Burkey
God is not who I thought he was by Jon Acuff @ Stuff Christians Like
Two men. Two eternal destinies.
One common hope.
What people are saying:
Tarver’s storytelling technique as he takes us along with Nick and Wayne’s journeys through opposite eternal pathways is nothing short of genius.–Linda Rondeau, Author of The Other Side of Darkness
Masterfully written!–B. C. Jones
My final verdict…I loved it! –Chris Patton, Christian Business Owner, Christian Faith at Work blog
Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes can be found at:
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